As the global pandemic, COVID 19, was spreading the Province of Nova Scotia, as part of the public health order, closed all craft brewery tap rooms, and other serving operations indefinitely. In addition to the provincial declaration, the craft beer industry was forced to close additional operations, and restricted hours on remaining allowed operations by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation.

Now, the craft beer industry is preparing to fully participate in the reopening of the Nova Scotia economy. This document represents the framework for operations for craft beer taprooms and other service facilities run by breweries that interact with customers.

This framework builds on the public health principles approved the Government of Nova Scotia so that employees of breweries can work safely and customers are provided a warm and safe environment away from home. Our breweries will work diligently to educate and inform employees and customers and we will work just as hard to support anyone so they can feel safe in our facilities during this period of transition. It will be the responsibility of individual breweries to develop site specific operating plans based on these guidelines.

Cleaning and Sanitization

  • Breweries will provide a hand sanitization station at entrance and exit of facility for the use of customers.
  • Breweries should leave doors open that are not critical to safety protocols.
  • There shall be no access to production or service areas by customers including brewery tours.
  • Thoroughly clean the entire service area upon reopening.
  • Clean and disinfect shared equipment such as kitchen equipment, credit card machines, point of sale stations, safety vests, headsets, etc. after every use.
  • When cleaning tables between every seating, any cutlery, salt and pepper shakers, sauce dispensers, or other items must be removed and cleaned then sanitized or disinfected. Tables should be left empty until the new guest arrives and only those items needed should be provided to customers.
  • Clean and sanitize reusable menus. Paper menus should be recycled after each customer use.
  • Growlers can only be reused after appropriate cleaning. Breweries will provide a growler drop off station in the brewery to avoid contact.
  • Make hand sanitizer available for staff and guests. 
 Key Touch PointsHigh risk infection areas need to be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis to protect against pathogen spread. These key touch points include areas where traffic is high, bodily spills may be frequent or where there is a generally low level of hygiene.
    • Clean all areas frequently, as to your standard cleaning procedures.
    • Maintain excellent hand hygiene.
    • Use a disinfectant to clean frequently touched surfaces.
    • Deal with blood and bodily fluid spills immediately. Health and Personal Hygiene


  • Clearly placed signs indicating that customers can be refused entry if displaying signs of fever and/or cough, or symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Clearly placed signs indicating hand washing and personal hygiene practices available from the Province of Nova Scotia.
  • Upon arrival, customers should be asked if they are feeling well. If they are not, they must be asked to go home and complete the 811 online self-assessment tool.
  • Customers are required to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entrance.


  • Appoint a Health and Safety Point Person for every shift to ensure protocols are being adhered to and education is provided.
  • A registry of all people entering the brewery shall be kept to aid in contact tracing if required. This includes staff, couriers, deliverers, other service staff. This is not an open sign in book and should managed by the brewery.
  • Clean any sign-in electronic devices between users.
  • Stagger start times and/or minimize contact during sign-in.
  • Implement a pre-work screening “health check” for employees at the beginning of each shift.
  • Do not allow staff on-site if they are sick or might be sick; they should return home or stay home and complete the 811 online self-assessment.
  • Provide separate lockers or sealed bins/bags for employees to store their personal items. Do not allow staff to leave any items overnight.
  • Limit the number of employees allowed simultaneously in break rooms to allow for physical distancing.
  • With larger staffs, use communication boards or digital messaging to convey pre-shift meeting information.
  • Staff must wash their hands at the start of their shift, before eating or drinking, after touching shared items, after using the washroom, after handling cash or credit/debit cards, after touching common items, after each transaction if contact was made, and at the end of their shift. At a minimum staff should wash their hands a minimum of every 30 minutes.
  • Staff should avoid touching their face.
  • Where handwashing after each transaction is not possible, establish clear procedures to have separate staff handle cash transactions than those serving customers.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

Use of PPE should be aligned with guidance from Nova Scotia Public Health Authorities.


  • Physically distancing of 2 metres is always the first choice for protection from other staff or customers. For staff that cannot always physically distance 2 metres, the use of non- medical masks or face coverings as required by Public Health Authorities. Operators should supply this equipment.
  • Employees should be reminded not to touch their face while wearing masks.


  • Proper hand hygiene is recommended. If gloves are required, avoid cross-contamination, and do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth. Operators may want to consider wearing gloves when asked by customers.
  • Disposable gloves must be changed as frequently as applicable to avoid cross-contamination, such as when:
  • Changing tasks such as handling cash.
  • When changing waste / recycling receptacles.
  • Gloves are soiled, torn or damaged.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before wearing the first pair of gloves, when changing gloves wash hands before wearing the next pair.

Physically Distancing

Customer areas:

  • Post Nova Scotia Government approved signage promoting physical distancing upon entry.
  • Display signs in multiple locations that indicate the maximum number of customers and staff that a brewery can accommodate at any one time.
  • Size of parties cannot exceed that of current Nova Scotia Public Health Authority restrictions.
  • Breweries should separate entry and exit points established, where possible.
  • Mark direction of travel, to designate entrances and exits, pick up areas, and washrooms.
  • Unless otherwise required by local authorities, redesign floor plans to demonstrate 50 per cent posted capacity, or greater if floor plans can demonstrate required social distancing.
  • Demarcate floor with markers for any areas where a line up may occur (restrooms, pick up areas, etc.) and/or provide directional signage to indicate flow through the restaurant as well as outside.
  • Where furniture cannot be removed to adjust for physical distancing, mark certain tables and chairs unavailable for use.
  • Temporary table dividers may be installed to make social distancing easier for restaurants with communal seating or larger tables.
  • Where practical, separate booth seating with physical barriers or maintain physical distance.
  • Bar seating should have a physical barrier between guest and bar or kitchen, as well as one seat every six feet. Alternatively, bar seating can be closed until physical distancing requirements are eased.
  • Washroom capacity may need to be adjusted to allow for physical distancing. You may consider limiting washrooms to one guest at a time.


Staff areas:

  • Train staff on physical distancing and how to best serve beverages and food with the least amount of contact.
  • Where possible, stagger workstations or insert a barrier, so employees avoid standing directly opposite one another or next to each other.
  • Remind third-party delivery drivers and suppliers of internal distancing requirements.
  • Provide separate entrance if possible.Reducing Contact
  • Reduce the number of items on tables – discontinue on-table condiments, condiment caddies, table cards, marketing materials and candles.
  • Bring customer items only once they are seated: glasses, cutlery, rolls, condiments (as needed), etc.
  • Don’t touch water glasses or coffee cups when refilling.
  • Leverage technology where possible to reduce person-to-person interaction, eg. Mobile ordering, menu tablets, text on arrival for seating, contactless payment options.
  • Build physical separation between customers and staff for counter service and payment settings.
  • Tables should be cleared one at a time to reduce the potential for cross-contamination.

Waste Management

All wastepaper bins/garbage receptacles must contain garbage bags, especially when disposing of single use items such as plastic glasses. It is strongly recommended that the waste bins/receptacles used have a lid and foot pedal. At the end of the working day, all bins must be emptied and placed outside in a proper garbage receptacle. Staff must thoroughly wash their hands after completing this task.

Brewery Restaurants

Brewery restaurants should follow the approved RANS (Restaurant COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Guide, content/uploads/2020/05/RC_COVID19_Reopening_BestPractices.pdf).

Provincial Resources Available for breweries and other operators:

Working during COVID-19 COVID-19: occupational health and safety

To be successful during the economic relaunch, businesses should continue acting responsibly by following public health and physical distancing measures and using good hygiene and disinfecting practices.

Contact your local Public Health department for more information.